Faster & More Accurate Tag Creation with Auto Tag Generation

Wouldn't it be nice to create your device's tag database with the click of a button?

One sometimes tedious but necessary step of any industrial automation project is the creation of tags for linking of device/PLC addresses with the variables in your system. Most OPC clients make this easier by letting you browse the OPC Server and bring the tags
right in.

However, since these addresses have already been defined in the programming software for the device, and in some cases if the device protocol supports it are available in the device, ideally you could just import these addresses as tags into the server without having to recreate them.

Automatic Tag Generation creates your tags with just a click

TOP Server supports automatically generating static tags for an entire device either by directly connecting to the device or from an import file for certain drivers where the communications protocol supports it.  This eliminates the guesswork sometimes involved with determining what addresses / tags are actually available in a device.

Auto tag generation also eliminates the human variable with respect to avoiding syntax errors when manually creating both static and dynamic tags for TOP Server drivers. This ensures that the addresses you are requesting from your devices are correct and actually exist, resulting in better performance.

If you're using an OPC Client and it supports the ability to import the tags from the OPC server, you can eliminate manual tag from your project start up! At a minimum, auto tag generation can greatly reduce the time you need to build your project.


Drivers supporting automatic tag generation

The drivers in the diagram to the left support automatic tag generation (either from the device, from an import file or both).

Some drivers support full tag database imports through either method whereas some drivers have specific types of tags that can be automatically generated.  For full details of automatic tag generation support for a specific driver, please consult the specific driver help files.



But I don't want static tags in my TOP Server - should I still use Automatic Tag Generation?

That's a great question - there are still use cases for automatic tag generation even when you ultimately plan not to maintain static tags in your TOP Server project or even if you're client doesn't support OPC. If your client application isn't OPC and doesn't support browsing, TOP Server auto tag generation can still help with that too.

Many non-OPC applications allow CSV import to create their tag database. So you can still speed the tag creation process by auto generating your tags in TOP Server, using CSV export to get your CSV list and then import it in to your client.

And, even if you plan to only use PLC address references in your client application, TOP Server supports dynamic address references just like that.  It can still be beneficial to use automatic tag generation to import the tag database, since this also creates tags with the correct device address.  It's then easy to export from TOP Server as CSV and reimport into your client.

Important Notes:

  • For drivers that support both a file import method and a device import method for automatic tag generation (such as the ControlLogix Ethernet driver), there may be specific differences in what tags are available for import.  Consult the specific driver's help file (installed with TOP Server) to confirm what differences (if any) may exist when deciding which method to use for tag import.
  • Tag names for imported tags will be derived from the corresponding device address for the tag - if you prefer to assign your own user-friendly tag names, you can export the TOP Server tag database to CSV, adjust the tag names and then reimport the CSV file.

Get Started Now

The demo is the full product once licensed. Once a client application connects to the  TOP Server, the TOP Server runtime will operate for 2 hours at a time. At the end of the 2 hour demo period, the demo timer must be reset by restarting the TOP Server runtime service.

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